If it weren’t for notorious New York club CBGB, the careers of punk and rock icons like Blondie, the Ramones, Patti Smith, Television, the Talking Heads, the Cramps, the Dictators and countless other 70s-era stars might have been stillborn. The venue is legendary, so news of a biopic about CBGB owner Hilly Kristal is welcome news.
Ace British actor Alan Rickman (see Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies) has been cast as mercurial club owner Kristal whose gritty and heavily graffito-ed live music dive, which opened in 1973 and closed in 2006 over a rent dispute, put NYC's punk scene on the global map.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Rickman has signed on to join Randall Miller (see 2008's Bottle Shock) and Jody Savin’s film project; Miller will direct the picture from a script he and Savin wrote together. Shooting begins in June.
Kristal’s daughter Lisa, who controls the estate, is on board as a co-producer of the film.
Miller and Savin should be on every rock fan's radar: the two were set to film The Drummer, a biopic about celebrated/tortured late Beach Boy Dennis Wilson and starring Aaron Eckhart, as soon as this summer.
But due to scheduling that project has been pushed to the fall, which allowed Miller and Slavin to slot CBGB for production instead.